Style
Where the runway meets the street

Fashion is a truly global language now. The most hyped designers right now are from the former Soviet Union, brands from Korea are killing it, and every month our Under the Radar feature spotlights brands from all over the world.

21st-century youths are harnessing the power of the internet and social media to scour the world for newness, while designers and brands use it to take their visions global. It’s created a globalized melting pot of culture, and it’s one of the most exciting things about streetwear in 2017.

With that in mind, we’re venturing further afield to get a little closer to street culture scenes all over the globe. Next up in our roaming series of reporting is Anton Sigfússon, from Icelandic label INKLAW.

I hit up Anton to get the lowdown on what’s happening in the Icelandic sneaker and streetwear scene at the moment.

For more local insights, get the low-down on Brazil’s thriving street culture scene.

How is the streetwear and sneaker scene right now? How’s it different to the rest of the world?

Húrra Reykjavík

The streetwear and sneaker scene in Iceland has not always been up to date. Actually, we were seriously lagging behind our Scandinavian neighbors not so long ago.

Iceland has a population of just over 300,000 people and I guess at that market size, it has not been a priority for internationally renowned streetwear brands.

Also, the fact that we are on an isolated island in the North Atlantic has made it difficult for local brands to reach bigger markets and really flourish in the past.

@5thphvse - Models @lasayehommes @sorelleamore

However, thanks to social media and the growing popularity of Iceland in the world, there has been a huge uplift within the scene in the past few years.

We are suddenly seeing streetwear-specific stores popping up and the emergence of a lively mini-brand community, especially within the menswear industry.

I think the demand for streetwear was always there, we were just missing the suppliers.

Of course, we are still missing a lot of things due to market size, primarily when it comes to the high-end stuff, but online shopping fills these gaps nicely. Icelanders are actually very advanced when it comes to online shopping.

How do people dress? What brands are popular?

@alinatsvor - Model @lasayehommes @sorelleamore

Vintage stores had the best of business for a while with a good source of cool, old brands. They are still very popular, but now we are mixing it with the all the new stuff. Generally, Icelandic people have become much better dressers in the last few years and you can actually see it and feel it, almost. The diversity is great!

Icelanders are ones that follow what’s going on elsewhere. When an international hype train goes off, you can see its effects here as well. This has happened with brands such as Supreme, BAPE, Champion, Anti Social Social Club and Thrasher just to name a few. Scandinavian design is also big here (HUGE when it comes to interior design). In downtown Reykjavík, you can shop brands like Han Kjøbenhavn, WonHundred and Wood Wood.

Lastly, being in a place where the temperature is naturally low, we are bound to like functional outdoor clothing. Canada Goose is hugely popular as well as Icelandic brands Cintamani and 66North.

What local brands and designers should our readers know about?

@realjcreel - Models @lasayehommes and @sorelleamore

The outdoor brands, such as the aforementioned, are probably the most successful ones in Iceland. Especially in the current tourist boom where the tourists are gearing up before exploring the Icelandic nature.

They are also the only clothing stores that can survive the ridiculous rent of the prime shopping spots in downtown Reykjavík. The other stores are souvenir shops.

When it comes to Icelandic streetwear brands, we have a small but vibrant scene with some cool brands and talented designers.

Many of them can be found in and around Reykjavik as well as online. The womenswear scene offers a lot of great established brands, such as Geysir and Hildur Yeoman. The menswear scene is meanwhile not as crowded and has fewer, but still very talented designers, such as Gudjon Geirsson and newcomer Alexander Kirchner.

@realjcreel - Models @lasayehommes and @sorelleamore

The former is the creative director of hip-hop influenced streetwear brand INKLAW which has had great success on foreign grounds with the use of e-commerce and social media marketing. INKLAW have had people like Justin Bieber, Migos and Steve Aoki wear their stuff.

We actually just had Reykjavik Fashion Festival last weekend (basically Reykjavik fashion week) where INKLAW along with five other prominent Icelandic designers, mostly women’s, showcased their latest work. The festival attracts a good amount of foreign fashion press as well as buyers which is important for the scene here in Iceland.

What are the essential places for visitors?

Cintamani

Our nature is most definitely what Iceland has to offer, as well as delicious food. I would definitely recommend for any visitor to soak in the energy from the nature.

Don’t stay too long in the city, rent a car and get to know a local. Drive around the country and just drive through the unknown. Iceland truly has incredible nature in almost every corner.

The east is beautiful, royal mountains with tiny towns. Then there is the South, North and West. Go out and enjoy the nature and most importantly, respect the nature to the fullest.

Where’s good to shop, eat, skate and party?

INKLAW CLOTHING

There are a lot of good stores in downtown Reykjavík on and around Laugavegur, which is the main street there. I would recommend checking out Húrra, which has a good variety of sneaker brands and Scandinavian streetwear brands.

They recently became a YEEZY reseller which really took the excitement for sneakers to the next level here. Then we would recommend checking out shops like Geysir and Yeoman as well as outdoor brands Cintamani and 66North, they have some functional streetwear as well.

INKLAW have a showroom located in downtown Reykjavik where appointments can be made, but they are primarily an online brand which enjoys the occasional pop-up shop.

Where’s the best place to eat?

66north

Food in Iceland is great and we have a lot of different foods. Here are some great places:

Ban Thai – Best Thai food in the world, and yes we’ve been to Thailand. Ban Thai still wins.

Apótek – The ultimate Icelandic experience, crazy good food.

Gló – Healthy as hell, and super yummy!

Von Mathús – Stunning fish, stunning food!

Kopar – Definitely one of the best. Fresh fish and gorgeous view over the harbour.

Vegamót – All in one restaurant, but a good one!

Bæjarins Beztu – The famous Icelandic hot dogs, a little overrated but still delicious!

Kol – Beautiful restaurant filled with Tom Dixon interior, which makes the experience a little better. The food is incredible aswell.

STAFF – A newly opened restaurant on Laugarvegur. Simple menu, but freakishly good.

Where’s good to skate?

Cintamani

Believe it or not, there is actually a rather lively skate culture in Iceland, especially in the summer. You can find skaters skating downtown in Ingólfstorg as well as in warehouse around Reykjavik.

And what about partying?

66north

You will find almost all the clubs and bars in Iceland located on the same street downtown. It’s the street where all the shopping and eating goes on as well, Laugarvegur. We have a good mini-brewery scene and it shouldn’t be difficult to find bars where you can taste good Icelandic beers. When it comes to partying hard, there are some places more popular than others, namely:

B5 – Where you’ll find good music, pretty girls and boys, and you can dance.

Prikið: Where the cool kids hang, listen to hip-hop, drink a lot of beer and smoke a lot of cigarettes

Kaffibarinn: Where the cool grown up people hang and get wasted. No dancing there, just a lot of drunk talk and the vibe is good.

Austur: Where the rich and “rich” hang. It’s a little tacky, but good at times!

Kiki: One of the best dance clubs in town, it is a gay/gay-friendly club so don’t get surprised.

For more local insights, get the low-down on Brazil’s thriving street culture scene.

  • Lead image: @alinatsvor - Model @lasayehommes @sorelleamore
Words by Alec Leach
Digital Fashion Editor

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin, where he leads Highsnobiety's digital fashion content.

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